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ELECTION 2022

Not even more religious teachings will redeem Kenyans

ARTS & CULTURE
By TONY WAMBUGU NJOROGE | Jun 25th 2016 | 2 min read

LAIKIPIA: I belong to the school of thought that all religions should be taken with a pinch of salt. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that when the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

In Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s ‘The River Between’ and Chinua Achebe’s ‘Arrow of God’ Chege and Chief Ezeulu sent their sons to mission schools to learn the ways of the white man. To learn and bring back knowledge and skills that would be beneficial to the community and disregard the rest. We have failed remarkably in that. We took in everything and allowed the white man to walk through our minds with his dirty feet.

Methinks we should have gladly wolfed down his knowledge on disciplines such as science and spat out his unpalatable religion to his face.

Look at us now, slaughtering each other over imported religions we don’t really understand. We seriously need to rid ourselves of some of the practices brought by westernisation.
Prof Chris Wanjala recently argued here that one can spend up to a year in a local university and not hear a professor invoking God’s name in his discussion on burning issues. I was shocked that the good professor would suggest that religious studies be made compulsory in the universities.

Prof Wanjala claims the exclusion of God from our academic discourses is to blame for our moral laxity and run-away corruption.

I say it’s our hypocrisy that’s the cause and it will be our ruin.

Come to think of it, in Kenya nearly every hall, warehouse, school classroom, park and stadium is turned into a church over the weekends. Clearly, we are not a nation in lack of religious teachings.

But in truth, most of our churches are there to make money. They are run by false shepherds. They are there to bleed the ignorant dry with their ‘panda mbegu’ schemes.
Interestingly, the contrary is happening in the West. Religiosity is on the decline here. The white man is turning his back on the very doctrines he brought upon us.

We need to start vigorous de-worming of our society starting in our very homes; since the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people. We should work on impacting discipline and benevolence in our children. A child is what you put into him, and hopefully the next generation will not be as rotten as we are. It is character that maketh the man, not how many religious texts he’s crammed.

– The writer is a literature teacher in Laikipia County.

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